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My most popular Instagram photo, a gift from a spammer

Eye in the sky

Ett inlägg delat av Hans Kullin (@kullin)

Suddenly one day you think you might have cracked the code, that you will finally become an influencer on Instagram. Your photos, for no apparent reasons, are getting twice as many likes as they normally do, and the likes are coming in fast. Some 200 likes within 30 minutes is not something I am used to. And it happened on one image, then on another one the same day, and once again the following day. Three photos now had gotten about 400 likes, at least 150-200 more than they usually do.

Fake likes
But the sudden popularity of my Instagram account had nothing to do with my skills as a photographer. Instead, the likes were a “gift” from a spammer who approached me to sell his or her services (i.e. buy likes or followers). This was the message I received via DM:

instagram_likes

I admit that I was a bit suspicious, the unproportionate number of likes from Russian accounts didn’t make sense. But who knows? Instagram’s algorithm works in mysterious ways. My sudden fame in Russia could have a logical explanation. Unfortunately the explanation was fake likes.

The last few weeks, there has been an increase in spam on Instagram with accounts that sell fake followers commenting on a large number of photos. As influencer marketing continues to grow in importance, there’s also money to be made from inflating follower numbers on social networks. Just don’t fall for it. In order to succeed, you will need a fan base made up of real people.


Footnote: I am @kullin on Instagram. Follow for travel photos, sunsets and architecture.

Posted in Statistics.

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Obama’s tweets will be archived on @POTUS44 – but the 46th President is an “egg”

We will soon find out who will replace Barack Obama as the President of the United States – Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump. Obama has been the first president to truly embrace social media in all its forms and when he steps down, Clinton or Trump will take charge of the Twitter account @POTUS. The account will keep its 11 million followers but the new President will start off fresh with a clean time line, no old tweets will be attached to the account.

Obama’s old tweets will not be deleted, instead they will be transferred to the @POTUS44 account where they will be archived by the National Archives and Records Administration in order to preserve the material for future generations. The same strategy is in place for the other accounts associated with the Obama administration, like the @whitehouse which will be archived at @whitehouse44.

Future archives are “taken”
If this strategy continues over time, then some accounts may suddenly get some extra attention. A Mr. Phillip Jay White holds the @whitehouse45 account and the future archives of the successor to Clinton/Trump is an anonymous “egg” on the @POTUS46 account.

Naturally, the National Archives and Records Administration will have no trouble getting control of these accounts when thay day comes, but it will be fun to see if any of these people will become active and take advantage of the potential Twitter fame.

whitehouse45

potus46

Via Digital Trends.

Posted in Twitter.

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No, they’re not giving away Range Rovers on Facebook

You’d think by now that people could tell a fake giveaway on Facebook from a real one, but apparently not. There are currently a number of fake car giveaways on Facebook that have gone more or less viral. These giveaways often claim to hand out luxury cars to lucky winners and this time there are several scams regarding Range Rover 2016.

rangerover2016giveaway

How do I know they are fake? Well it’s incredibly simple to find out, but a lot of people don’t think or don’t care. So they participate and help the scammers build up their pages and spam their Facebook friends in the process.

The post above has been shared more than 60,000 times and the pages has now more than 30,000 followers. But it is all fake of course. No brand would give away three expensive luxury cars in a simple contest that so blatantly brakes Facebook’s rules.

If it’s the very first post on the page: Hoax!

If the URL is not a nice and short vanity URL like you’d expect from a large brand: Hoax!

rangerover2016giveaway2

So if you or your friends ever wonder how you can avoid falling for hoaxes like these, then maybe you should check my blog post about “How to spot a fake giveaway on Facebook”.

Posted in Marketing.

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Sweden beats Nordic rivals in social media Olympics

The Olympic games in Rio 2016 are engaging large audiences in social media. However, some reports suggest that the volume of interactions in social channels are lower than expected. A survey of US viewers shows that fewer people are following the Olympic Games via social networks than had said they expected to.

But many people are commenting and sharing views on Twitter for example. According to statistics from Socialbakers, the US and Brazil are the countries that most people are tweeting about, followed by India.

Most interactions about Sweden
If we look at Twitter conversations about the Nordic countries, Sweden is clearly in the lead before Denmark (Aug 5 – Aug 16). Almost 100,000 tweets about Sweden and 57,000 about Denmark. There are significantly fewer comments about Norway and Finland. The peak for Sweden came after the women’s football team beat USA in the quarter finals on penalties.

rio_socialmedia_1

(click for larger image)

rio_twitter_sweden

More statistics on social media at the Olympics can be found here.

Posted in Statistics, Twitter.

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Autofill is not working on Instagram hashtags

The latest update to Instagram apparently has caused a vital feature to stop working. Normally when you post a photo or a video and then want to add some hashtags, Instagram would auto-complete the hashtags with suggestions from tags you’ve previously used.

autofill instagram

For example:

If I type #c in a comment to one of my photos, Instagram would suggest #clouds #cloudscape #cloudstagram if I have used them recently. Or other examples if I type # and another letter.

This makes it easy to add more tags and it also prevents misspelling, which is easily done if you add several hashtags.

Now however, this feature is not working. Instagram won’t autofill any hashtags if you do like I showed above. Instead, the app is now suggesting ALL recently used hashtags if you start typing #. And this is no good because you might want to add only tags related to black and white photography if you post a bnw photo, so now you have to scroll through all of them to find the appropriate ones. And not only that, you can only add one at a time from the suggested list, so this makes it all more time consuming.

Hopefully it is just a bug and I really hope Instagram will restore the autofill feature to what it was before the last update.

Posted in Other.

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Popular hashtags temporarily suspended on Instagram

One of the most common advices on how to get more likes and followers on Instagram is to use popular hashtags on your photos. By doing that, your photos and videos can be discovered by other people than just the ones that follow you.

Instagram removes recent photos from some popular hashtags
But for quite some time, Instagram has had major problems with spam and inappropriate content. Some of the most commonly used hashtags have been flooded with offensive content that do not follow the community guidelines. That can for example be nudity, threats or hate speech.

Instagram’s response to this problem has been to completely remove the “Most Recent” section from the app/site for that hashtag and only show Top Posts. This is done for a limited period.

Some of the top hashtags that have been affected by this problem recently are:

#fun
#swag
#cute
#sun
#sunrise
#sunset
#clouds

cute_hashtag

sunset_hashtag

sunrise_hashtag

sun_hashtag

clouds_hashtag

These are among the most used hashtags and if you use them in order to increase visibility for your photos, there is a real risk that it will not work. Only top posts will be visible under these hashtags and no new users will see your photos.

My advice is that before you tag a photo on Instagram with a popular hashtag, always check if the tag has been temporarily suspended. If not, then it’s ok. But if it has, choose other tags.

To find relevant tags to use you can for example:

  • Find top 100 hashtags on Websta.me
  • Go to the search tab on Instagram and see trending hashtags
  • Visit a hashtag page on Instagram and find up to five related hashtags on that topic

Note: find me on Instagram at @kullin

Posted in Statistics.

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